ISLAMABAD: The Sindh and Punjab governments will roll out their Wheat Release Policy in line with the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet’s decision to ensure availability of wheat and flour at reasonable prices across the country.
At a meeting chaired by Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) Secretary Omar Hamid Khan on Monday, the Punjab Food Department said the provincial government will vet its policy by Tuesday. The Sindh Food Department said the province will unveil the policy in next 10 days.
For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, the ECC had decided that Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) will assess their immediate requirements, and arrange to improve supply of wheat as per agreed targets.
The ECC has asked Punjab to release 900,000 tonnes of wheat to mills in the province during next two months at a release price as proposed by the provincial government in order to prevent surge in prices of the commodity and flour.
The Wheat Monitoring Committee under the MNFSR has so far issued import permit to seventy importers for a quantity of 355,950 tonnes to be brought into the country. Provinces were also directed to ensure free movement of wheat across the inter-provincial borders.
The ECC has already decided that movement of wheat will be facilitated between Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. To ensure that wheat flour does not flow out to Afghanistan, cross-border movement at the points of exit should be monitored, it was stressed.
The import of wheat by the private sector, by obliterating duties and taxes was also discussed during the meeting.
In acquiescence of the ECC decision, Passco and KP government have signed an agreement for releasing 100,000 tonnes of wheat from the former’s stock to the province.
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020